TV comedy series that last more than a couple of series are doing well in an age when changing tastes can see a once-popular TV show disappear in a short space of time.
Benidorm, shown in ITV, ran for 10 seasons, winning several awards, before finally coming to an end earlier this year.
Featuring the exploits of Brits on holiday the Solana Hotel in Benidorm, and the characters they encountered, it
Fans of the TV show discovered that the Solana was under threat when another company tried to buy it over – and the ending was left unresolved when the show ended.
However, the answer of what happened next is now revealed in Benidorm Live, a stageshow touring the UK, and currently at the Playhouse in Edinburgh (until Saturday, 22 September).
With six original TV show stars, Jake Canuso (Mateo), Janine Duvitski (Jacqueline), Adam Gillen (Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Joyce Temple-Savage), Shelley Longworth (Sam) and Tony Maudsley (Kenneth), and a script from show creator Derren Litten, the stage production perfectly encapsulates the daftness and madness of the TV show.
Don’t expect the high-brow – this is very much a show aimed at the fans, who know exactly what they’re getting. It’s a pantomime for grown ups, embracing the enduring tropes of British humour – farce and innuendo, with lashings of camp on top.
The plot is nice and simple – couple Ben (Bradley Clarkson) and Sophie (Tricia Adele-Turner) arrive at the Solano and check in, and quickly find themselves caught up in the madcap world that perfectly reflects the TV show.
As manager Joyce Temple-Savage (Hewson) discovers someone has been sent to assess the future of the Solano, she assumes it will be Ben and Sophie.
Hairdresser Kenneth (Maudsley) forms an endearing double-act with Liam (Gillen), while newcomer Gay Derek (Damian Williams) is an amusing addition to the team. Canuso as waiter Mateo was definitely a hit with the ladies in the crowd – cue lots of shrill screaming as he appeared, especially as if he was ready to go for a swim.
Janine Duvitski, a performer of long-standing, stole the show for this observer, as Jacqueline, a woman who enjoys the swinging scene – her opening scene with Ben and Sophie is total farce and would make even the sternest critic crack a smile.
There’s songs throughout, with Shelley Longworth hugely impressing with her vocals, while a genuine performer from the clubs of Benidorm, Asa Elliott, entertains at Neptune’s Bar.
It’s a clever central set, which rotates according to the required scene, whether in Blow and Go hairdressers, the reception, or by the pool.
Benidorm Live has no pretensions about being high-brow. It’s littered with amusing popular culture references, and is the perfect extension of the TV show. If you loved that, you’ll love this.
Click HERE for tickets details at the Playhouse.
- Benidorm Live returns to Scotland in 2019, at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from 4-9 February, and Aberdeen from 4-9 March.